On March 15, the Indiana State Senate approved a bill that would allow Indiana prosecutors to build high-tech cybercrime response centers in 10 counties spread throughout the state. A similar House bill allocates $6 million over two years that can be used for these facilities. This is an expansion of an existing program operating out of St. Joseph County in cooperation with experts at Notre Dame, which has seen some success.
This is not the first time the state of Indiana has shown its commitment to stopping cybercrime: The statewide cybercrime unit was established in 1998. In 2016, there was another crackdown after a Canadian man crossed the border to Fort Wayne to have sex with a 14-year-old girl he claimed to have met on the Ashley Madison website. At that time, Indiana’s Crimes Against Children Task Force was the principal agency prosecuting these crimes.
The new units’ mandate will help law enforcement conduct investigations and collect evidence to identify and prosecute individuals who commit crimes using computers, networks, or communications technology — both sex crimes and commercial crimes. This comes just months after the FTC launched Operation Income Illusion to counteract the wave of fake work-from-home offers and similar scams that targeted Americans left jobless by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Given the solidity of the State Senate’s decision, the parallel moves at the federal level, and the increase in the number of Americans victimized by scammers during the lockdown, it is likely that the number of arrests made in Indiana for cybercrimes will increase considerably. As of 2018, the maximum sentence for a computer crime in Indiana was 20 years, and the maximum fine $10,000.
If you find yourself accused or suspected of cybercrime in Indiana, schedule a free consultation with Razumich & Associates. Given the association of cybercrime with online pedophilia in the American mindset, the stigma that comes with any conviction or guilty plea, even for a strictly financial offense, may outlast any official sentence.
If you are considering reporting a cybercrime but have concerns, Razumich & Associates can help you protect your interests and privacy.
Reach us at 317-983-5333, [email protected], or through our website.